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Chilli Polenta Chips

ingredients

serves 4
350 g (12 oz) instant polenta
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup soured cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper

method

1. Place 1.5 litres (2 3/4 pints) 6 1/4 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and then add the polenta in a steady stream, stirring constantly.

2. Reduce the heat slightly and continue stirring for about 5 minutes. It is essential to stir the polenta, otherwise it will stick and burn. The polenta should have a thick consistency at this point and should be stiff enough to hold the spoon upright in the pan.

3. Add the chilli powder to the polenta mixture and stir well. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

4. Spread the polenta out on to a board or baking tray (cookie sheet) to about 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) thick. Leave to cool and set.

5. Cut the cooled polenta mixture into thin wedges.

6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add the polenta wedges and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. Alternatively, brush with melted butter and grill (broil) for 6-7 minutes until golden. Drain the cooked polenta on paper towels.

7. Mix the soured cream with parsley and place in a bowl. Serve the polenta with the soured cream and parsley dip.

Easy-cook instant polenta is widely available in supermarkets and is quick to make. It will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. The polenta can also be baked in a preheated oven, at 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6, for 20 minutes.

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